"Garry?" Ib asked, her voice growing smaller. She gazed up at the taller boy with those large, brown eyes that forced sorrow into Garry's heart. He was a sucker for those innocent eyes of hers. She had yet to even part with his hand as she clung to it hopefully.
He looked back over his shoulder slowly, wisps of lavender hair blocking his right eye from Ib's view as always, but she thought what she could see of his face was..strangely perfect. His vivid, blue eye gleamed with happiness as it blinked under her soft gaze. Such beauty from a boy, Ib thought, and wondered why she felt so awe-struck by someone like him.
Garry smiled with ease, and knelt by Ib on his long legs. "Yes, Ib?"
She felt her cheeks flush with a tinsy bit of red as she spoke, like they did when she was scolded by her mother over the silliest of things, or when she stumbled over her own shoes in public. But Ib managed to force the words from her delicate lips with the last of her bravery from that exhausting night at the gallery.
"Will I ever see you again?"
Garry looked around, giving his coat a quick brush off with the back of his hand before facing her again with a comforting curve of his lips. That smile, so welcoming and warm. Ib still clutched his hand as a child would when it came to saying goodbye, and Garry gave her a gentle squeeze with his fingers wrapping around her palm carefully.
"Of course, Ib!" He replied happily. She seemed relieved to hear this as she squeezed her eyes shut with a giggle. "We will see each other again, maybe get you some of those macaroons I told you about." He roughed up her hair with his palm, and forced himself to stand. He couldn't stay, after all, she was only a child, and she had parents to be with. A family was important, and Garry was positive that they would be missing her somewhere in the gallery. "I just know you'll love them." But he couldn't keep himself from making small-talk to keep Ib from walking away.
Perhaps it wasn't Ib who was being soft and childish, but himself instead. How could he let Ib walk away, when she meant so much to him? She was a little girl, yes, but after protecting her-guarding her, he felt as if it were still his duty to do so.
She stood below him, tugging at his coat to regain Garry's attention once more. "Garry?" She asked again, and he tilted his head to listen.
Ib gave all the energy she had left to heave herself into Garry's arms for a final hug goodbye. All at once, the emotions finally sunk into Garry's heart as he felt tears well in the back of his blue eyes that longed to fall upon Ib's brown hair. He held them back to be strong for his young friend, but heard her sniffle once or twice as she came to realize how long it would be before they would meet again.
"I'm going to miss you, Garry." She wept softly as she wrapped her small arms around his neck. Her finger's combed through the tatters of his coat collar subconsciously; the grey fabric providing a way for her head to rest in comfort upon his shoulder. "Promise me well see each other again?"
He smiled, placing a small kiss on the child's forehead before giving her hair a smooth rub.
"I promise, Ib."
She sniffed a few times, and rubbed her eyes that were bleary from tears. There hadn't been many tears to fall from those adorable eyes. but she nodded, accepting the promise with a bright smile.
"Ok, I believe you." She said, nodding. Ib smoothed the red fabric of her pleated skirt as Garry gave her a small nudge to the direction of the reception area.
"Go on, Ib, it's ok." He coaxed, and soon his voice disappeared from behind her as the chatter from the rest of the gallery seemed to take complete hold of her attention from then on, until she regained the courage to take a sudden peek at Garry's retreating figure, that is, if he had still been visible. By the time Ib had glanced back, Garry was gone, leaving only the petals of a blue rose where he once stood.